Trade Sanctions and Export Controls Alert

World Trade Organization Tracks New COVID-19 Trade Related Measures

March 27, 2020

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has formed a taskforce in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is tracking the latest disruptions to international trade on their new webpage. The webpage includes FAQs, updates from WTO members, “real-time” trade barometers, and global business/civil society responses to COVID-19. WTO is also tracking countries that have imposed trade related measures in response to COVID-19. This list was last updated on March 24, 2020 at the time of publication. While the list is not exhaustive, it indicates that the majority of trade measures involve restrictions on the export of medical supplies, along with a growing number of restrictions on food exports.

As reported in our previous Trade Sanctions and Export Controls Alert, the European Union has banned the export of certain personal protective equipment. The Kyrgyz Republic has gone even further and has prohibited the export of wheat, cooking oil, rice, pasta products, eggs, sugar, salt, animal feed, wipes, antibacterial products, and disinfectants for six months. Indonesia, Mauritius, the Russian Federation, and Kazakhstan have all placed restrictions on the import of live animals from certain countries.

However, other countries are liberalizing their import regimes. Latin American countries including Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil have temporarily eliminated tariffs on certain personal protective equipment. India has also temporarily eliminated import tariffs on certain organic chemicals and pharmaceutical products.

For more information, see the WTO Trade and Trade Related Measures List


Foley Hoag has formed a firm-wide, multi-disciplinary task force dedicated to client matters related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). For more guidance on your COVID-19 issues, visit our Resource Page or contact your Foley Hoag attorney.